Wednesday, February 24, 2010

home one month

Well we are home almost a month now - it is hard to believe that much time has gone by. WOW!

So you may be wondering how it is going after a month home - the truthful answer is really pretty well! We have had a handful of meltdowns/tantrums - truth be told if I were picked up and moved to ET I'd would have had many more than she has had! I think it helps tremendously that she understands so much of what has happened and it helps even more that she has such a wonderful grasp of english. Her vocabulary is improving as is her usage of sentances rather than just words. I need to be better at reflecting correct grammer back to her rather than ignoring it - but that is my job. There is sooo much talking in our house that I am sure by summer she will be totally fluent! Sleep is majorly important - she still needs more than she is getting, but she is beginning to sleep in more and isn't up at 5 or 6 am with the big boys - which is a big relief for me as an hour to myself in the morning makes a much happier mom! And I think it means that she is really relaxing more and not waking at every noise in the house. Food is way less of an issue than we expected - the first week or 2 home I thought she would burst at the seams for all she ate. But that has calmed down. She still eats alot - way more than Emma, but it is normalizing. One hard thing we have encountered is that Scott has had to travel alot with work lately and it has been challenging for her - both in terms of bonding with him, and in terms of trusting that we really are a family. We really haven't had any choice in the travel and it isn't going to get better anytime soon so we just have to figure out how to move through it.

The most stressful thing right now is me - LOL what a surprise! But I like having my kids mostly figured out - and with Alemtsehay is it a bit like standing on a cliff waiting to see what happens. Most of the time everything is just fine....and then every once in a while we fall off.

Travel dates

Well tenative travel dates have been set for the week of March 24. Which is a bit later than I expected but AAI didn't get the extra embassy dates they asked for in March which is backing things up a bit. It actually is a great week for Scott to travel and then I think he will take the whole next week off to recover (at least I hope so). Both of those weeks are the kids spring break - should be lots of fun!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Dance!!!

We just got word that the court decree was issued!!! wooohooo!!!

Now we should get travel dates soon (of course my idea of soon is in about 2 minutes! - I'll wait until Monday to call - and believe me that is going to take some patience on my part!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Alemtsehay is adjusting pretty well to school - she likes to do her "homework" most nights - though I think homework in 1st grade is nuts.

A few years ago we tried our local school for a year - but were less than impressed. So we choiced Emma and Luke to other schools, but with the new kids coming home this year I couldn't manage the commute so back we went. And thus far we have been very impressed. Alemtsehay's teacher is lovely and her room is right next to Emma's. Then today - her teacher is out for a few days of training so there is a sub in the room (could be a reciepe for disaster) but today lo and behold I found out the sub has 3 Ethiopian sisters adopted 14 years ago - how cool is that!!! She was amazed that Alemtsehay is in school already - as when her sisters came home they knew no english at all. Alemtsehay knows lots of english - I will be very interested to see her ESL results (of course those will depend on if she felt comfortable with the ESL teacher)

File found / note to self

We got an email first thing this morn that the lawyer in ET found the file at the court house - PRAISE GOD. We still don't have the court decree - but hopefully they will now issue it in the next few days.


Alemtsehay needs to go to be by 7 at the very latest (maybe 630).... not enough sleep = morning meltdown - yeeshhh not what I needed today. Though - only 3 meltdowns in 4 weeks - all brought on by lack of sleep, really not too bad.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Well here is the news of the day - still no court decree. The lawyer in ET thinks perhaps our case has been misfiled somewhere in the court - really????? How many things can go wrong with one case?????

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

waitng for Estifanos

We are still waiting to hear about travel - sadly I think that means that so far they haven't recieved our court decree - and folks this is bad news, it should have been in last week. I really don't know what to think at this point. We so enjoy having Alemtsehay home, but it isn't enough- we need our boy home too. Sometimes I just want to scream enough it enough!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Adoption and Childbirth

When I had our first I thought I'd never forget what it was like to be in labor and what it was like to be up night after night with a crying baby. but of course I did. (each and every time I forgot - I mean I sort of remembered but not really)

Well adoption is no different - you forget about all the work involved in blending a new family member in. You forget about the challenges of attachement, the tears and the grief. It is more than worth all the work - but it is probably a very good thing that this mommy's brain is more prone to remember the joys - the snuggles - the kisses and the hugs.

Couple of things I never want to forget - In ET one night we were out to dinner at one of those cultural resturants and Alemtsehay looks at me with surprise in her eyes and says "I think I like you!" ( now she had been telling me I love you all week - but those were just words - this was real feeling and it meant way more to me than the empty I love yous). The last week or so at night when she kisses me good night she kisses my head, my nose, both cheeks, my chin and then lips - totally her own thing and so very cute!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

7 to 2 and back again

Just a reminder to myself - 7 year old body - 2 year old impulse control, 2 year old emotions.

LOL - I totally forgot that today and we tried to hurry out for lunch and a run to the park before the snow sets in - ummmm not so much. Total meltdown. She was tired (got up waaayyyy to early - but how in the world do you make them sleep???) and didn't understand it was a fun trip and just didn't want to go. Dad set off with the other kids while I managed the meltdown. Once she calmed down and agreed to get in the car we met up with them and she was totally excited and on board with it all.

Lesson learned - we need to give her lots of warning before making any transitions.

Now for the big question of the day - she announced that she wants her haircut. What in the world to do - she was pretty clear about it, and her hair is very very damaged and dried out, but it isn't all that long to start with - barely to her shoulders when wet and then shrinks waaayy up when dry. I still need to experiment with product as I don't think I have just the right thing yet - or maybe I'm not using enough of it - but cut it??? I just don't know...... Tonight after bath is was beautiful - finally curling a bit and we put tons of stuff in .... we'll see in the morning - but she really dislikes it when it bushes out and isn't a fan of anykind of braid at all. YIKES I need to see if joyful mom over at HappyGirlHair gives online consults!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

2 weeks home

Well we have been home for 2 weeks now - and boy has time just "poof" disappeared. The first week home I had a cold and the jet lag wow oh wow - I was just done by about 5 pm each night. YIKES! but things are going amazingly well with Alemtsehay. The advantage of older child adoption is that they can tell you what they want, at least some of the time. She definitely has some food concerns - but it all relates to picky ness - as in yesterday I ate a ton of that, but today I'm not eating any of it. Thus far she doesn't seem to have any hoarding issues and is happy to share any treats she has - which is very sweet to see. She sleeps like a log - which is also great because getting up at night isn't fun for me! She has been waking very early - to play with her Polly pocket dolls - finally I just asked her to stay in bed and play as getting up with the teens at 6 am really isn't the greatest idea.

She started school this week and so far seems to really enjoy going (okay I typed that and did myself in this morning - as she decided that she didn't like any of her shoes or her hair - LOL)

Anyway older child adoption thus far has been much easier than I anticipated - there really haven't been any tantrums. She certainly is grieving and willing to cry and get it out - though she really can't talk about it - I don't think she had the English to convey it to me and mostly I imagine that she just feels sad inside.

Probably the biggest challenge for me is exhaustion - this is very tiring and stressful as you never know how she will react in a new situation - we are learning but these first few weeks are stressful. And there are many times I have to say to myself 7 year old body 2 year old mind - and boy oh boy is that true.

So far the best part is that she really seems to be fitting in - she definitely loves having brothers and sisters and at least most of the time she loves having a mom and a dad too.